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Monday, 22 February 2016 14:44

Santander's big lighting upgrade proves there's no choice between planet or profit

GE is claiming that its lighting infrastructure upgrade for the UK business of global bankers Santander demonstrates that corporations no longer have to choose between 'profit and planet'.

GE is to deliver energy savings of more than 50% and cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 7,000 tonnes annually with the Santander lighting infrastructure upgrade.

As the UK's biggest ever fully-funded LED lighting retrofit, the project will see 90,000 new lights installed across the bank's UK estate of 800 branches and 13 office buildings – slashing energy use in half and reducing carbon emissions by more than 7,000 tonnes each year.

GE and Santander lightingProviding a full scope solution, GE will deliver lighting services throughout the 10-year contract, which includes optimised system design, installation, maintenance and management.

Importantly, the project is to be delivered using a cash-positive financing model, in a move that is set to reinvent the way companies think about investment in energy efficient lighting upgrades. The model includes a substantial investment of £17.5 million by the UK Green Investment Bank plc and Sustainable Development Capital Limited, making it the biggest LED-financing package the UK has ever seen.

This unconventional approach, in which the financing partners enable the lighting to be procured as a service rather than a product purchase, allows Santander to benefit from the reduced operating costs and improved energy efficiency of the LED lighting but without the capital investment and impact on the balance sheet – a flexible solution that could pave the way for many other organisations to follow suit.

Dan Vinton, CFO of GE Lighting EMEA, commented: "The lighting industry has changed dramatically in the last few years, moving away from supplying product as a simple disposable commodity, to providing high value solutions to customers while becoming a true energy efficiency partner. The old models of the lighting industry are no longer fit for purpose in this new market and this project represents a glimpse into the new world."

"More than anything, this project has been about listening to our customer's needs and working with them to develop a tailored package of lighting and finance solutions that perfectly meet their requirements. The strength, credibility and expertise represented by the GE brand helped make the project bankable which was a key element of success. We're privileged to have been able to walk this learning journey together with our partners and proud of what we have accomplished here. We are now focused on scaling this offering more broadly and allowing more customers in our target markets and verticals to benefit from this type of smart value creation."

Nick Roberts, Property Director, at Santander, said: "We launched our 20-20-15 energy efficiency strategy three years ago, in which we committed to reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions by 20 per cent by 2015. LED lighting has become an integral part of our Energy Efficiency Plan and plays a key role in achieving these overall sustainability goals. Through this lighting upgrade we have taken a huge step forward in executing our long-term efficiency objectives, with GE providing the support, scale and suitable products that we needed."

LINKS
GE Lighting EMEA
Santander- energy saving strategy